Spindle: February ’08

Spindle Spokesbaby: Will DiazIn the midst of all the political blogging I’ve been doing lately, I had a Spindle update looming on the calendar for today and stole time here and there over the past two weeks to sift through the surprisingly steady stream of submissions that have come in since last month.

I was worried in mid-January that the aggressive “official launch” schedule I’d set up for January, posting 15 new pieces over three weeks, would deplete my inventory and leave me scraping through some marginal work to get something up this month but it all worked out nicely in the end as we have new work from Alan King, Eric Payne, Rachel L. Olivares and Julian Taub, plus new columns from Stephanie R. Myers (Myers Music Experience) and Brooke Wacha (On the 1).

Log on now and get into a New York state of mind @ http://www.spindlezine.com

The submissions process has been interesting as my listings on Duotrope and NewPages have both generated a lot of traffic and, while I can’t associate any specific submissions that I’ve accepted to either of them, I can tell from my tracking data that several submissions have come via traffic they generated. We’ve also been picking up a lot of Google traffic from people searching specifically for the site or for relevant keywords like stickball, 9/11 and, oddly enough, the Pushcart Prize. Overall, I’d estimate a 50/50 acceptance/rejection ratio to-date and have been pleased that, while there have been a few serial submitters who clearly didn’t read the guidelines or browse any of the content, the majority of submissions have come from people who understand the underlying “state of mind” theme of the magazine and gave some thought to what they were submitting.

SUBMISSIONS TIP: If a publication says it accepts “up to” a certain number of poems, submit exactly that many or no fewer than one less than their maximum. Unless you’ve specifically been asked to submit something or are a very established name, sending only one poem is both a little presumptuous and limits the editor’s flexibility. Three or more poems allows an editor to get a better feel for your writing and can help one or more of them stand out in contrast. You might even have more than one poem accepted for publication!

I’m particularly happy with our three columnists (Mahogany Browne’s next installment of “Coffee & Brooklyn” will go up next week) and would like to bring two more onboard by the Spring to guarantee a minimum of five new articles each month at which point I can consider moving to a semi-monthly schedule, mixing columns with poetry and fiction in each update.

One thing I’m not happy about is that I’ve not been able to get back on track with my Notable New Yorker interviews. I currently have three interviewees on hold (sorry Jessica, Cess and Michelle!) and, partly due to my obsession with the primaries, haven’t had the time to get to them. My goal for March is to have at least one of them completed and ready to go.

I also have a fun podcast idea that, in a rare twist, wouldn’t require any additional time from my schedule as it would leverage my already being out at least one poetry event each week. More on that another time, though…

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